April 07, 2017
Rendering of the new UAB College of Arts and Sciences building April 7, 2017

The reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman will once again grace the stage of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center for the Viva Health Starlight Gala on Sunday, May 21, the culmination of the center’s 20th anniversary season.

The legendary Perlman, the Alys Stephens Center’s first Starlight Gala performer in 1999, enjoys a superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Having performed with every major orchestra and leading concert hall around the globe, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music. Perlman has been honored with 16 Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Genesis Prize and the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor.

After Perlman’s 2007 performance at the center, The Birmingham News gave him five stars and wrote, “If one could hand-pick a violinist, a pianist, a venue and 75 minutes of music, it might come close to what a packed house heard Saturday at the Alys Stephens Center.”

The Viva Health Starlight Gala is Birmingham’s crown jewel of performing arts events. This annual, elegant engagement benefits the Alys Stephens Center’s programs and education initiatives and ensures a commitment to provide the community with the very best in arts entertainment. Past performers have included Kristin Chenoweth, Jay Leno, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Al Pacino, The Pointer Sisters, Diana Krall, Mandy Patinkin, and many others.

Tickets are $150 and include a pre-performance cocktail reception. A VIP dinner package with performance tickets is also available. To purchase the VIP package, call the Alys Stephens Center’s Development Office at 205-975-4012. This performance is made possible by Viva Health.

For the 2016-2017 season, Perlman has performed season-opening gala concerts with the Baltimore Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony, and appears with the Toronto, Cincinnati and San Diego symphonies, among others. He conducts the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia Festival. Throughout the season, he performs with his regular collaborator, pianist Rohan De Silva, in recitals that take them across North America, including to Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In fall 2016, Warner Classics released a new Perlman album, recorded earlier that year in Paris with one of the greatest pianists of our time, Martha Argerich. It marked a historic first studio album for this legendary duo, exploring masterpieces by Bach, Schumann and Brahms.

The honorary chairs for the 2017 Gala are Gillian and Mike Goodrich; the chairs are their children, Elizabeth and Mike, Braxton, Ali and Charles, and Gracie.

For information about supporting Alys Stephens Art Center: Lili D. Anderson, Senior Director of Development, lilida@uab.edu; 205-934-6196.